Let's Talk About Rings

Below is an English translation of the fourth of 31 essays/short articles in Takemoto Novala's recently published 乙女のトリビア, or Trivia for Maidens, originally published in Zipper magazine.

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Let’s Talk About Rings.
The Rings You Are Wearing


Rings are nice, aren’t they? When you get married, you wear a ring on your left ring finger. Do you know when this custom started? Actually, it can be traced back to ancient Rome. It was thought appropriate to express a holy love with this finger, as it is closest to the heart. Doesn’t that make you wonder whether not only the left ring finger, but also the other fingers as well had special meaning when rings were worn? If so, you’re correct. This time I will teach you about the relationship between rings and fingers.

If you wear a ring on your left thumb, this means you have a strong will, and if you wear one on your right thumb, it will help you exercise leadership skills. The left pointer finger indicates positivity, while the right is most useful in increasing the ability to concentrate. The left middle finger calls for inspiration, and the right middle finger is useful in avoiding trouble. The left ring finger you already know about, so next is the right ring finger. A ring on this finger has the power to calm us down. Finally, the left pinky finger brings us a chance to meet with a wonderful love, while the right ring finger is said to allow us to express ourselves.

There are also meanings to colors: red is to bring success in love, while blue is to being a sincere honest love, and green calls good fortune. There are so many different meanings that can be attached to rings that if we continue to discuss them we’ll never reach the end.

Perhaps you’ve started to wonder now about the rings you previously wore simply because they were cute or suited you. If you just remember this, it will be very helpful to you: wear a ring on your right pointer finger before you have to take an important test for which you must study a lot. If you still should have to take a wild guess, switch it to the left middle finger, and you should be all set! And if you want to find a boyfriend, wear a ring on your left little finger, a pinky ring.

Rings for the little fingers of either hand are called pinky rings, but the left pinky ring stands not only for meeting your loved one, but also for deepening a bond between lovers, and is even useful for when you want a wish of any kind granted, even when unrelated to love.

Then again, this interpretation wasn’t particularly etched in stone by anyone, so if you research it, you may come up with slightly different results. Even the left ring finger, when defined strictly, was not something passed from man to woman as a symbol and vow of holy love, but rather started as a way of binding a woman’s power, which was stronger than that of a man (to make the lover or engaged bound to his rule, and so she wouldn’t cheat on him), as some remaining ancient writings imply. There’s also one school of thought that derives the origins of this ring finger as being a way to gain the affections of a beloved in a one-sided love (according to this explanation, results could be expected if you wear it at night, even if you don’t wear it all day long). The right ring finger has strong connections to the arts, so if you want to become an artist or a designer or go into some other creative field, there are those who say you should wear a ring upon this finger. You should interpret the meanings in the way that suits your lifestyle best. After all, the thing that truly is important for success is how much you believe it will happen.


A Masonic Signet Ring


By the way, though this will digress a bit from the current topic, rings have many names depending on their shape or use. A ring with your logo mark or initial boldly embossed on it is called a seal ring or signet ring, and was invented as a convenient way to combine a ring and a seal. On the other hand, a ring with a word like “Love” or “Forever” written on it is called a posie ring. There are also rings that open like a little pillbox, aren’t there? These are called poison rings. These were used by members of the monarchy and held poison inside of them, for the purposes of ending one’s own life should one be captured by an enemy. Though these days there’s not much use for them except perhaps to put in a digestive pill to take if your stomach gets upset…


An example of a Posie Ring from the 17th century


As for myself, I recently lost my Vivienne Westwood armour ring which I had been wearing on my left pinky finger hoping to meet a sweet love, so I quickly went out and bought a knuckle duster ring to replace it, but after only a week of wearing this on my left pinky finger, I lost it as well! This surely must be a bad sign. Perhaps the God of Love has forsaken me completely…


Vivienne Westwood Armour Ring



Vivienne Westwood Knuckle Duster Ring


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Like Novala, I too love to wear rings. If I take the time to get dressed properly, chances are I am wearing at least a couple rings. But until today, I never knew there were meanings to each finger other than the left ring finger! Considering it now, of course it makes sense that there is, but I never gave it much thought. I always just wear rings wherever it is comfortable and flattering. But I almost always have rings on 2 fingers: my left pinky, and my right ring finger. According to the right ring finger brings creativity, so perhaps it makes sense that since I’ve begun wearing rings with more frequency, I’ve been a lot more productive with my sewing! I’ll have to make a point of always wearing a ring there! On the other hand, literally, I always wear a ring on my left pinky – my Novala signet ring, in fact. So the left pinky ring is supposed to bring love, is it? Perhaps one day my Novala ring will lead me to… (笑)Then again, perhaps not!



By the way, on the topic of the Poison Ring, I must disagree with Novala (gasp!) on there being no modern application for them! Check out this little number:



A modern take on the Poison Ring, this ring from Urban Decay comes with 3 interchangeable lip gloss colors. Novala was wrong when he said there were no good uses to be found in modern life!

Unfortunately no longer available from Urban Decay, I found this on http://www.splendicity.com, and it seems to be from the 2008 Christmas season. How fun! Though I must admit I don't care much for the gaudy yellow topaz cut glass - I'd much prefer a different design.

4 comments:

Caro-chan said...
March 9, 2010 at 7:44 AM

I didn't know that poison rings were for ending your OWN life! I have a bunch of rings that are "poison" rings, totally useless, but really fun to click open and closed repeatedly XD

Sorry you keep loosing all your VW rings!

The Osaka Koneko said...
March 9, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Uh oh. I need to find a better way to differentiate between Novala's part and mine. Novala lost HIS rings. My comments only start after the crown and heart divider.

I only own 1 VW ring, and it's a lot less fabulous than these! Lovely, but much more understated.

Wallflower Lu said...
March 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM

This is a great article! I love rings, well I love acessories in general, but I dying to get a Vivienne Westwood armor ring...they are just so cool and tough looking!

The Osaka Koneko said...
March 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

It is a pretty hardcore ring. Can't imagine wearing one on my pinky though! Seems so obtrusive for such a tiny finger.

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